Song Lyric Sunday: “Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel”

So today’s prompts are "greet, hey, howdy," and I decided to go with something a little off the wall. Off the left field wall, because it’s a baseball song.

In 1969, the Chicago Cubs had one hell of a year. They led the newly-formed National League Eastern Division from the start of the season, and the longer the season went on, the more it looked like they were going to run away with it. Great for Cub fans, of which I am not one: I followed the crosstown White Sox, who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory most of the time. It was cold comfort for us when the Cubs went from 9 games ahead on August 16 to falling out of first place on September 10 and ending the season 8 games behind the New York Mets.

Anyway, they looked really good in June, which is approximately when the Cubs’ fight song, "Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel," came out. The first lines of the song were the exclamations uttered by the Cubs’ announcers, Jack Brickhouse ("Hey Hey!"), Vince Lloyd ("Holy Mackerel!"), and Lou Boudreau ("No doubt about it!"), when a member of the Cubs hit a home run. The song was written by I. C. Haag with music by John Frigo and was sung by the Len Dresslar Singers.

The lyrics, as well as several MP3’s of the song, are on Critter Bob’s webpage.

Hey hey! Holy Mackerel!
No doubt about it,
The Cubs are on their way. (Hey hey!)
The Cubs are gonna hit today,
They’re gonna pitch today,
They’re gonna field today.
Come what may the Cubs are gonna win today.

Hey hey! Holy Mackerel!
No doubt about it,
The Cubs are on their way.
They got the hustle.
They got the bustle.
The Chicago Cubs have come to play.
The Chicago Cubs are on their way.

It took the Cubs 47 more years before they won a World Series.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for June 13, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday: Antônio Carlos Jobim, “Blue Train (Trem Azul)”

Jim is using the old formula for a happy marriage, for the bride to wear "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" on her wedding day, as the prompt for today’s Song Lyric Sunday. I’ve been in a bossa nova mood today, so I went out looking to see if Antônio Carlos (Tom) Jobim had written any songs with any of those words. What I found was "Blue Train," or "Trem Azul" if you prefer the Portuguese. He recorded it on his 1994 album Antônio Brasileiro, the album that was released on December 11, 1994, a few days after his death, though it had been finished for almost a year before then. Jobim wrote the music and lyrics, which are in English (except for the last refrain).

The lyrics, from Genius:

You take the blue train
The sun on your head
The sun takes the blue train
With you in my head
The sun on your head

Things that come sometimes
And we forget to say
Phrases in the wind
Now an then come to remind
Of things that have remained
For a long time to be said
In the wind a song (whispered but the wind)
A love song wants to fly, fly

So you take the blue train
The sun on your head
The sun takes the blue train
With you in my head
The sun on your head

Você pega o trem azul
O sol na cabeça
O sol pega o trem azul
Você na cabeça
O sol na cabeça

I checked with Google Translate, and the Portuguese lyrics are the lyrics of the refrain (You take the blue train/The sun on your head…)

That’s Song Lyric Sunday, and Song of the Day, for June 6, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday: Two “Chicago” Songs

Given Jim’s bunch o’ prompt words for today, "City, Country. County, State, Town" (which I understand come from Lisa over at Our Eyes Open – thanks, Lisa!), two songs jumped immediately to mind, and of course you know what they are…

The first is "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)," written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Sammy Cahn for the 1964 Rat Pack movie "Robin and The Seven Hoods," starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bing Crosby, as well as Peter Falk, Barbara Rush, and Edward G. Robinson (who didn’t get a credit). The song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, losing out to "Chi Chim Cher-ee," from the movie Mary Poppins. It only reached #110, but it’s still a classic. The Wrigley Building is still on Michigan Avenue on the north bank of the Chicago River, but the Union Stock Yards closed in 1971. Only the Union Stock Yards Gate remains, having been named a National Historic Landmark forty years ago yesterday. Mary’s family all worked in the Stock Yards at one time or another, and she grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood (I also lived there after we were married).

The Crazy Crooner, who posted the song, also posted the lyrics.

Now this could only happen to a guy like me
And only happen in a town like this
So may I say to each of you most gratef’lly
As I throw each one of you a kiss

This is my kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people, too
People who smile at you

And each time I roam, Chicago is
Calling me home, Chicago is
Why I just grin like a clown
It’s my kind of town

My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of razzmatazz
And it has all that jazz

And each time I leave, Chicago is
Tuggin’ my sleeve, Chicago is
The Wrigley Building, Chicago is
The Union Stockyard, Chicago is
One town that won’t let you down
It’s my kind of town

The second song is "Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)," written by Fred Fisher in 1922. It’s been done many, many times, but the most famous is the one by Frank Sinatra, from 1957. I’m sure there are some of you want to know who Billy Sunday is, so click the link.

The lyrics, from Genius.com:

Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago, I will show you around,I love it
Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down

On State Street, that great street, I just want to say
They do things they don’t do on Broadway
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man, he danced with his wife
In Chicago, Chicago, my home town

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town
Chicago, Chicago I’ll show you around, I love it
Bet your bottom dollar you lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy Sunday could not shut down

On State Street, that great street, I just wanna say
They do things that they never do on Broadway, say
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man and he danced with his wife
In Chicago, Chicago, Chicago
That’s my home town

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for May 30, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday: “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” “Gimme Dat Ding”

So Jim wants us to pick two songs with something in common and compare and contrast them. Okay…

My two songs are both from 1970. The first is "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" by the band Edison Lighthouse. It was written by Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason and originally recorded by a performer who went by the name Jefferson, who frequently sang in falsetto. Edison Lighthouse was made up of session musicians led by singer Tony Burrows, who, as we’ll see, is the common thread.

The lyrics, from Genius:

She ain’t got no money
Her clothes are kinda funny
Her hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

She talks kinda lazy
And people say she’s crazy
And her life’s a mystery
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There’s something about her hand holding mine
It’s a feeling that’s fine
And I just gotta say, hey!
She’s really got a magical spell
And it’s working so well
That I can’t get away

I’m a lucky fella
And I just got to tell her
That I love her endlessly
Because love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There’s something about her hand holding mine
It’s a feeling that’s fine
And I just gotta say, hey!
She’s really got a magical spell
And it’s working so well
That I can’t get away

I’m a lucky fella
And I just got to tell her
That I love her endlessly
Because love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

It keeps growing every place she’s been
And nobody knows like me
If you’ve met her, you’ll never forget her
And nobody knows like me
La la la, believe it when you’ve seen it
Nobody knows like me

The second song is a novelty number, "Gimme Dat Ding." Like the previous song, it was recorded by a group of session musicians (this time calling themselves The Pipkins), and also the lead singer was Tony Burrows, in this case doing a fairly good impression of Tyrone F. Hornai, Arte Johnson’s "dirty old man" from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. The falsetto was provided by Roger Greenaway.

The lyrics, from Genius:

That’s right, that’s right, I’m sad and blue
‘Cause I can’t do the boogaloo
I’m lost, I’m lost, can’t do my thing
That’s why I sing “Gimme, gimme dat ding!”

Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, dat ding
(Oh, sing it one more time, mama)

Ah, gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, dat ding
(Ah, you ain’t doing that late at night)

A-ooh, what good’s a metronome without a bell for ringing?
(You’re right, you’re right, it’s no use at all)
How fast can anybody ever tell he swinging?
(Eh, they can’t tell)
How can you tell the rhythm written on a bar?
(Well, you don’t go too far, that’s what you do)
How can you ever hope to know just where you are?
(Well you look around ya)
Gimme dat
(Gimma dat)
Gimme dat
(Gimma dat)
Gimme dat
(Gimma dat)
Gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme
(Ah, gotcha)

Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, dat ding

Oh, gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, dat ding

A-ooh, what good’s a metronome without a bell for ringing?
(Well, you try and you do your best)
How fast can anybody ever tell he swinging?
(Oh, you ain’t doing that at all mama)
How can you tell the rhythm written on a bar?
(Well, you see)
How can you ever hope to know just where you are?
(Ah, yeah gimme dat)

Gimme dat (Do ya wanna make an old man happy?)
Gimme dat
Gimme dat
Gimme dat, (Yeah, well, gimme some o’ dat…)
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme

Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme dat ding, gimme dat, gimme, gimme dat
Gimme, gimme, gimme, dat ding

(That’s right!)

Tony Burrows was on a couple of other records that year: White Plains’s "My Baby Loves Lovin’", where both he and Ricky Wolff of the band sang it together, and The Brotherhood of Man’s "United We Stand", where he sang lead vocal with Sue Glover. Later, in 1974, he was a member of the band First Class. They did the song "Beach Baby". Legend has it that, on the British TV show Top Of The Pops, he fronted three bands on the same show during the weeks between January 29 and February 26, 1970, but that never happened: he was never on with more than two…

Well, I hope that was enjoyable. That’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for May 23, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday: The Hollyridge Strings, “I’ll Be Back”

This week, Jim took Maggie’s suggestion that we do "elevator music" today. I held off posting until now because I wanted to see what everyone considered "elevator music."

I was sorely tempted to do what Melanie did, namely find a collection of Muzak and say "here’s a couple of hours of Muzak, knock yourself out," but in reading some of your posts, I got the sense that people aren’t especially fond of "elevator music." I can certainly understand that.

As for me, I like "elevator music," not so much for the music itself but for the feeling it evokes, a sort of liminoid experience or transitional moment in time, where I’m neither here nor there. Like being in an elevator or on an airplane, or wandering around a nearly-empty shopping mall. YouTube user Fardemark has a channel devoted to easy listening records from background music systems like Muzak and Seeburg, while the channel Raw & Real Retail walks through shopping malls, setting the "walks" to production music, music that’s licensed specifically for purposes of being background music to projects like his.

So, now that I’ve blathered on and on (and trust me, I could have blathered much longer), let’s get down to the music…

The US release of the soundtrack album for The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night contained four tracks that were instrumental versions of some of the songs from the movie, played by The Hollyridge Strings. They were a studio orchestra that did easy listening versions of songs by The Beatles, The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, and other popular acts. One of the songs they covered was "I’ll Be Back," which was on the British soundtrack album and the US album Beatles ’65. It was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon-McCartney). Here is their cover (the "elevator" version) and The Beatles’ original.

The lyrics, from AZLyrics:

You know if you break my heart I’ll go
But I’ll be back again
Cos I told you once before goodbye
But I came back again

I love you so
I’m the one who wants you
Yes, I’m the one
Who wants you, oh ho, oh ho, oh

You could find better things to do
Than to break my heart again
This time I will try to show that I’m
Not trying to pretend

I thought that you would realize
That if I ran away from you
That you would want me too
But I got a big surprise
Oh ho, oh ho, oh

You could find better things to do
Than to break my heart again
This time I will try to show that I’m
Not trying to pretend

I wanna go but I hate to leave you,
You know I hate to leave you , oh ho, oh ho, oh
You, if you break my heart I’ll go
But I’ll be back again

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for May 16, 2021.